In this paper, we present the first optimized implementation of ARIA block cipher on low-end 8-bit Alf and Vegard’s RISC processor (AVR) microcontrollers. To achieve high-speed implementation, primitive operations, including rotation operation, a substitute layer, and a diffusion layer, are carefully optimized for the target low-end embedded processor. The proposed ARIA implementation supports the electronic codebook (ECB) and the counter (CTR) modes of operation. In particular, the CTR mode of operation is further optimized with the pre-computed table of two add-round-key, one substitute layer, and one diffusion layer operations. Finally, the proposed ARIA-CTR implementations on 8-bit AVR microcontrollers achieved 187.1, 216.8, and 246.6 clock cycles per byte for 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit security levels, respectively. Compared with previous reference implementations, the execution timing is improved by 69.8%, 69.6%, and 69.5% for 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit security levels, respectively.
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